Hilbert erased an 11-point first half deficit to defeat the Pitt-Bradford men's basketball team 84-75 Wednesday in the AMCC opener for both squads.
Playing for the first time in 11 days, the Panthers showed no signs of rust early on, sprinting out to a 16-8 lead on one of Jon Haenel's two triples. The Hawks battled back, cutting the deficit to two at 25-23 with 6:59 left in the first half.
Evan Greening's jumper on the other end ignited a 13-4 Pitt-Bradford run, capped by his three-point play at the 3:55 mark, to make it 38-27. Trailing 41-30 with 2:27 left in the half, Hilbert rattled off eight straight points to close the gap to three at the break.
The reigning AMCC regular season champs opened the second half on a 14-2 scoring run to build a 54-45 lead, their first since the game's opening minutes. Pitt-Bradford answered with 10 straight points, including Greening scoring the last eight, to regain a one-point advantage with 13:10 left.
Hilbert's Jalen Smith hit a three-pointer moments later to push the Hawks ahead 59-57, but Christian Kelly-Perkins tied it on the ensuing possession.
The Hawks' Hunter Martineau scored after an offensive rebound on the next play, and following a Pitt-Bradford miss, Derrek Carman converted inside to stretch the margin to 63-59. The Panthers pulled within three at 65-62, but Hilbert scored eight of the next 10 points to pull away for good.
The Hawks shot 55 percent in the second half while outscoring Pitt-Bradford 46-34. For the game, Hilbert shot 50 percent from the field compared to 41 percent for the Panthers. Pitt-Bradford went 5-27 from behind the three-point line and was outscored 46-32 in the paint.
Greening poured in a game-high 30 points and 13 rebounds. Manny Welch added 15 points, and Jaewon Mitchell totaled 12 off the bench. Sahlil Harris collected eight rebounds, and Fateem Brockington handed out seven assists.
The Panthers drop to 2-2 on the season and play at La Roche Saturday.